Between the lies, former supporters separating themselves from him and promises of opposition by appointees, things aren’t looking up for Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Even some legislators who formerly were loyal lapdogs for the governor have learned that they have teeth and they are beginning to growl.
And from our perspective, it’s a beautiful day when Jindal and his misrepresentations are finally be called out for what they are: lies.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols was too busy to address a questioning reporter but her mouthpiece, Greg Dupuis, said she misspoke (a euphemism for lied) when she told legislators that a $500 million minimum savings was included in the verbiage of the 80-page request for proposals (RFP) for a contract was subsequently awarded to the consulting firm of Alvarez & Marsal at a price of $4.2 million. dt.common.streams.StreamServer
Instead, it turns out, the only mention of $500 million was contained only in the firm’s cover letter, which is not legally binding.
Now Nichols, apparently holding the fort down alone while her boss is on an industry-seeking trip to Asia, says the contract will be amended. http://theadvocate.com/home/8138286-125/jindal-administration-promises-to-amend
She said it, however, only after a barrage of criticism from legislators who expressed everything from disappointment to outright doubt to rare criticism—by Senate President John Alario (R-Westwego), no less—of Jindal’s secrecy in awarding the contract without informing lawmakers. http://theadvocate.com/home/8131113-125/much-vaunted-savings-not-included
Sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes,” said Ruth Johnson, assistant commissioner for statewide services.
Chief skeptic in residence C.B. Forgotston, however, dredged up some old Jindal campaign promises which tend to fly in the face of such logic.
Forgotston cited this Jindal utterance taken from his campaign brochure on state finances:
- “Government spending is not just about writing checks to anyone and everyone. It is about being a responsible steward of the public’s money. It is about holding public officials and recipients accountable for the financial decisions they make on our behalf. It is about making sound fiscal priorities and sticking to them.
And extracted from that same brochure:
- “RESPONSIBLY MANAGE AND ACCOUNT FOR SPENDING OF HARD-EARNED TAXPAYER DOLLARS:”
- “Identify and recruit top-caliber cabinet secretaries.”
- “All appointments must be talented, articulate, experienced managers that can consistently deliver desired outcomes while reducing costs wherever possible.”
The question then becomes, Forgotston said, “If the consulting report finds savings in the state departments under Jindal’s jurisdiction…we will hold Jindal accountable?
C.B. has a refreshing way of cutting through all the bureaucratic gooneybabble and getting right to the heart of an issue. http://forgotston.com/
Carrying his not-so-rhetorical question even further, should we hold Nichols accountable for the supposed oversight and subsequent lying…er, misstatement to the legislature about a mythical $500 million savings?
One former supporter of Jindal—both from a philosophical and financial perspective—seems to think so.
A funeral certainly is an unusual, if not inappropriate, place to discuss politics but with so many current and former elected officials on hand for the services of Wiley Hilburn, the retired former head of the Louisiana Tech journalism department, it was almost inevitable that the subject of Jindal would find its way into the idle conversation. Funerals and weddings are, after all, major social functions at which, if only in passing, acquaintances are renewed, ideas are exchanged and common ground is explored.
After the services Sunday, as guests were milling around in front of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, one former supporter, in a brief but revealing conversation, was unrestrained in his disgust with Jindal. There was no subtlety or coyness, no mincing of words.
Without identifying the person, let it suffice to say that considerable money made its way from his bank account—and that of his company and family members (all legal, in case anyone wonders) into the campaign coffers of Jindal and now the good governor won’t even take his phone calls.
That will turn an ally into an enemy faster than just about anything else. No benefactor takes being ignored lightly and this man said as much on Sunday. “I thought (Mike) Foster was flaky and (Kathleen) Blanco had her moments,” he said. “But this guy….he forgot why he was elected the moment he walked through those doors. He’s completely turned his back on this state while he pursues something else, whatever that might be.”
This from a one-time staunch supporter.
One doesn’t have to consider long and hard what Jindal’s other options might be as he flits across the breadth and depth of the country in an attempt to line up support for a presidential run—a run that has about as much chance as a one-legged man in a tap dancing contest. Jindal would be far more appealing in a twerking marathon than a presidential campaign. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would have a better chance trying to cut in on commuters en route to Fort Lee during morning rush hour on the George Washington Bridge.
Of course, he is so obsessed with his quixotic quest that he doesn’t have a clue and those sycophants with whom he surrounds himself don’t have the stones to tell him. That or they are even more unrealistic in their rose colored glasses than he.
That arrogance could also prove to be a shocking lead-up to unpleasant surprises during his final two years in office as even some of his appointees—those from whom he demands unconditional loyalty and subservience—are muttering to themselves about a possible coup d’état.
Commenting on State Treasurer John Kennedy’s observation on last Friday’s Jim Engster Show on Baton Rouge’s public radio station that Jindal has gutted the budgets of higher education 67 percent since entering office, another attendee at Sunday’s funeral said, “We’re going to have to stand up against this guy. Higher ed can’t take any more hits.”
Of course, it remains to be seen if there will be follow through on the part of appointees and legislators.
But while they may have once been talking among themselves behind closed doors and never openly, they now are airing their complaints in a more public manner.
Like sharks circling in the waters, they may finally smell blood.
That could make the next two years both turbulent and interesting.